Transitioning from Meditation to Contemplation
What is the difference between meditation and contemplation? What does the transition between them look like? How will you know if you are ready for the transition, and how can you prepare for it? Dan and Melissa discuss when and how this transitioning from meditation to contemplation takes place as they reflect on the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.
Topics/Questions covered in the show:
- What does it mean that meditation is a “transitional form of prayer”?
- To what are you transitioning, and how?
- What should you do when meditation no longer works for you?
- What are the signs you are ready for transitioning from meditation to contemplation?
- How long does it take to prepare for contemplative prayer?
- How a spiritual director can help you understand the progression of your prayer life.
- EWTN Religious Catalogue – online
- Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
- EWTN Global Catholic Radio
- Finding God Through Meditation – St Peter of Alcántara, edited by Dan Burke
- The Importance of Saints, Teaching Children to Pray, and Examining Spontaneous Prayer – Previous post on SpiritualDirection.com dealing with discursive and affective meditation
- Lectio Divina, A Guide: What It Is & How It Helps Prayer Life – Post on SpiritualDirection.com
- Carmelite or Ignatian Prayer: Which is Best for Me? – Post on SpiritualDirection.com
- The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer – Fr John Bartunek (based on the Ignatian method where one puts oneself in the Scriptural scene and then makes a commitment based on what one has experienced with Christ)
- What is Christian Meditation? How to Pray Part II – Post on Spiritual Direction.com which clearly delineates the differences between Christian meditation and Eastern meditation
- Lumen Gentium – Dogmatic Constitution on the Church – Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents; Chapter V: The Universal Call to Holiness in the Church
- Spiritual Dictionary Terms used in this show – Definitions from Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Click on the word for the link to the definition.
- Aridity and Dryness in Prayer Series – A comprehensive listing of spiritual direction posts on this site regarding dryness, or aridity, and the difficulties this can cause with prayer. Some posts on the dark night which touch on dryness or aridity, are included as well.
- Keeping Faith Alive During Life’s Dark Nights – Four part series on SpiritualDirection.com by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles
- The Dark Night of the Soul – St John of the Cross “God desires to withdraw them from this base manner of loving and lead them on to a higher degree of divine love. And…to liberate them from the lowly exercise of the senses…by which they go in search of him…inadequately…and lead them into the exercise of spirit, in which they become capable of a communion…that is more abundant and…free of imperfections.” Dark Night 1, 8, 3 .
- What is the “Prayer of Simplicity”? – Three part series on SpiritualDirection.com by Fr John Bartunek
- The Collected Works of St John of the Cross – Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (Contains Ascent of Mount Carmel)
- The Autobiography of St Teresa of Avila – Translated by David Lewis
- The Interior Castle – St Teresa of Avila
- Infused Contemplation – Definition from the Spiritual Dictionary in the book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God – Daniel Burke with Fr John Bartunek
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – USCCB Bible link
- Questions? Send an e-mail to Questions@myavila.com or call 818-646-7729. Please leave your name, location, and question(s).
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